The other day I had the opportunity to visit an author in a local bookstore. He wasn’t that famous of an author, which was good for me, and the rest of the people that went to see him, but probably not particularly good for him. Nevertheless, he was really outgoing and friendly, and took the time to sign everybody’s books, and answer any and all questions that people had, in a lot of detail.
I asked him what made him decide to write a book on his chosen subject. It’s is not really a particularly popular subject, I would classify it as a kind of self-help or self-development. He seemed really enthusiastic about answering, and lot of other people became interested as well.
He said it all started with a teacher he had in Junior High School. This teacher was kind of different from the rest, sort of like a rebel. He didn’t last very long, because he was always getting into disagreements with the administration on the proper teaching methods. It seems that is the case more often than not. You’ll get a really good teacher, like this one, and he’ll really have an impact on you, but because these methods are not “proper” or “accepted,” the administration doesn’t really like them very much, so they fire him.
I remember a teacher like that I had in elementary school. He was really interested in each student, and made sure that each individual student was taken care of, as far as being able to not only understand the stuff we were supposed to be learning, but be able to understand everyday stuff as well. One of things he had us do was a lot of oral reports, or show and tell, or mini-plays. Anything to get us talking in front of class. I guess he figured that being able to express yourself in front of a group was a skill they didn’t teach much in public schools.
But unfortunately, despite how much the kids liked him and how much our self-esteem was raised through experience, he didn’t stick to the “proper” curriculum, and was let go only after one year.
That was what this author’s teacher taught him as well. He said that everybody has something important that they need to share with other people, no matter how unimportant you think it is. And when you find that, and figure out a way to share that with others in a congruent way, not only will you benefit many other people, but also you can really increase your self-confidence to the point where you can discover all other kinds of cool stuff.
And this guy kept answering questions and talking to people well after the bookstore closed. The manager of the bookstore was nice enough to let us hang around. And he even gave everybody his own personal email in case we had other questions that came up.
I think I was really lucky to meet this person. When you find somebody like this, you can really feel good knowing that this is an example of all the good things that can happen when you open up yourself to others.